Ruth Kastner, PhD, is a philosopher exploring the foundations of physics. She is on the faculty of the physics department at the State University of New York at Albany. She is also a research associate at the University of Maryland. She is author of The Transactional Interpretation of Quantum Mechanics: The Reality of Possibility and also Understanding Our Unseen World: Solving Quantum Riddles.
Here she points out that a deterministic universe implies that free will is an illusion. Many scientists hold to this view. Since quantum mechanics is founded upon Shrodinger probability waves, i.e., the psi function, she maintains that it is not a deterministic theory – and, therefore, not incompatible with free will. There is a viewpoint, known as the block world, held by many in physics that maintains that the entire history of the universe from beginning to end is predetermined and unchangeable. This viewpoint is hard to reconcile with free will.
(Recorded on August 23, 2016)
Published on November 29, 2016